When I Get Home: There's a New Black Planet and Solange Is Its Fearless Leader

Solange Knowles attends the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination Costume Institute Gala on May 7, 2018 in New York City.
Gif: Neilson Barnard (Getty Images)

Imagine landing on Black Planet after it’s been classified as abandoned property for years, uttering the words, “take me to your leader” and Solange motherfucking Knowles glides toward you?

That’s what happened after the end of a less-than-stellar Black History Month. It all started when Mrs. Tina Knowles Lawson’s quality sequel announced she was on Black Planet.


You mean the unsung social media OG where many black folks learned their first HTML language and found a community they’re still engrossed in today, many years later? You’re telling me, by simply making a page, Solange was able to do what Justin Timberlake tried to do with MySpace but failed? Remember that? Exactly. But Solange managed to create thrice as much buzz, all in the matter of minutes?

Of course, she did.

Along with several video clip teases, the 32-year-old eccentric artist brilliantly incorporated the legendary Mike Jones phone number into the mix. That’s right— 281-330-8004. By calling the number, fans were able to hear song snippets in anticipation of the full serving.


Because we know the Knowles family never does anything without intention, Solange announced she was dropping her album, When I Get Home at midnight on March 1.


Which, by the way, I think midnight music album drops and the NBA Finals are the only times there’s Pacific Standard Time privilege. While the east coast was struggling to tape their eyelids open, the west coast was basically having lunch break.


Way to serve as the tonic for a horribly disappointing Black History Month, Solange. Plus, she knows exactly what she’s doing by juxtaposing Women’s History Month with the image of the black woman. Intersectionality up in this bitch, ho.


The Black Planet inclusion was apt, as well. The album features Pharrell, Gucci, Playboi Carti, and more. I mean, the song “Binz” has the lyrics, “I just wanna wake on CP Time.” It’s pretty black. “When I Get Home,” indeed.


I’m going to do something kooky in this knee-jerk response world known as digital media: actually fully digesting the album and refusing to write a thinkpieced analysis about it right now. I know; unheard of! Mainly, it’s because I didn’t immediately connect with it the way I did A Seat at the Table ... and hell, maybe that’s the point. It’s something to truly digest. I’m listening to it again as I write this and am already feeling something different.


Initial stream-of-consciousness thoughts: Solange is great at interludes (they’re intriguing), “Stay Flo” gives me Aaliyah vibes (which I liked!), and she sounds gorgeous as usual (listening to her harmonizing in-and-out of your earbuds is an experience).


I think what I love about it the most is how easy it is to listen to. At under 40 minutes total, it’s a quick and breezy listen, which compliments its overall airy and chill feel. Real chill. High, even. I didn’t realize it was done until I heard other Solange songs on my playlist.

I will say, watching Solange evolve while still being the same girl her original fans fell in love with, is fascinating to watch. As Solange said, “I ain’t running from shit no more.” Message.


When I Get Home is currently available on Tidal, Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, iTunes, and more.


Listen here:

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

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